Nov 20, 2019 - Health

FDA approves high-priced drug for rare genetic disorder

Alnylam CEO Dr. John Maraganore poses for a portrait with lab equipment behind.

Alnylam CEO John Maraganore. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The FDA has approved the drug Givlaari, made by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, for adults who have acute hepatic porphyria, a genetic disorder that leads to severe abdominal pain and affects just one in 25,000 people.

The big picture: Alnylam set Givlaari's net price, after discounts to insurers, at $442,000 per year, or about $39,000 per vial. It's a lofty price tag, but those prices are common among drugs that use new scientific techniques and that treat very rare diseases.

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